Unemployment Benefit

You may receive this benefit, if:

  • You have been granted the status of the unemployed (Support for Unemployed Persons and Persons Seeking Employment Law);
  • Your total insurance (employment) period is not less than one year;
  • You have made mandatory unemployment social insurance contributions for at least 12 months during the last 16 months prior to the acquisition of the unemployed status.

Unemployed status may be obtained at the State Employment Agency.

Note! While raising a child under the age of eighteen months, your social insurance contributions are made by the state.

Entitled to the benefit are also the unemployed who:

  • Have regained their ability to work after a disability;
  • Has taken care of a disabled child until he/she turned 18.

In the aforementioned cases one shall be entitled to receive the benefit, even if during the last 16 months prior to obtaining the unemployed status no unemployment contributions have been made on behalf of him/her, or they have been made for a period of less than 12 months.

It should be noted, however, that the benefit will be granted only if the person requesting this benefit has been registered at the State Employment Agency for obtaining the unemployed status within 1 month after regaining his/her working ability or after his/her disabled child has reached the age of 18.

The benefits’ claiming rules

  • Submit an application for receiving the unemployment benefit;
  • Present documents representing the total time worked until 31 December 1995.
  • an employment record book;
  • employer’s or archive statements;
  • employment contracts and documents certifying fulfilment thereof;
  • a military service card;
  • documents certifying training (achievement sheet, certificate, diploma, educational institution’s statement). If you have studied after obtaining secondary education (except for university), you must present both the secondary school certificate and the document (diploma, achievement sheet, educational institution’s or archive statement) certifying the period of studies after obtaining secondary education.
  • other documents certifying the length of employment and periods equivalent thereto, if there are no such information at the disposal of SSIA (State Social Insurance Agency).

Requirements for documents are set forth in Cabinet Regulation No. 165 of 23 April 2002 “Procedures for Producing Evidence, Calculation and Registration of Periods of Insurance” (Cabinet Regulations No. 165)

  • Where during the benefit receipt period an unemployed submits documented proof of insurance periods on accumulated employment and similar periods for a period by 31 December 1995, the VSAA (State Social Insurance Agency of Latvia) shall re-calculate the unemployment benefit granted to that person from the date the benefit was granted based on the application of the benefit recipient for the re-calculation of unemployment benefit.

An application you can submit in one of the divisions of the State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA):

  • personally or as electronic document, in accordance with the legal regulation of the processing of the electronic documents;
  • sent by post or submit by a notary authorized person’s intermediation;
  • submit in one of the customer service centers of the state or local governments, which have the cooperation agreements with SSIA.

The easiest way to do this by filling in an E-application to the state and local governments’ services portal www.latvija.lv

An application can be completed, if the unemployed status has been granted by the State Employment Agency or an application addressed to the State Employment Agency has been completed and submitted for obtaining the unemployed status.

The application for benefit can also be submitted at any branches of the State Employment Agency.

When applying for the benefit by post or e-mail application form in the webpage of the State Social Insurance Agency www.vsaa.gov.lv can be used or a free text application.

By signing the application, the person requesting the benefit confirms that the information provided in the application is accurate.

Information about the assessment of disability for a child under the age of 18 and the decision extract confirming that the disability is no longer assigned shall be submitted to VSAA electronically by the State Medical Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability.

No identification is required when submitting an application at a VSAA office. However, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Law, upon issuing personal information pertaining to a particular person, VSAA may request and the person is obliged to produce a personal identification document.

The benefit may be requested through an authorised person, provided that the representation rights have been granted in accordance with Article 38 Paragraph one of the Administrative Procedure Law. Representation of a natural person shall be drawn up as a notarised power of attorney, or a natural person may authorise his or her representative at the VSAA office, if both the representative and the authorising person are present.

The amount of the benefit

The benefit shall be calculated in proportion to the total length of the insurance (employment) record and in accordance with the income from which unemployment contributions have been paid:

The length of the insurance (employment) record:

The amount of the benefit granted:

from 1 to 9 years (included)

50% of the average contributions salary

from 10 to 19 years (included)

55% of the average contributions salary

from 20 to 29 years (included)

60% of the average contributions salary

30 years or more

65% of the average contributions salary

If, before acquiring the status of the unemployed, you:

  • Have raised a child under the age of eighteen months and received the child care benefit (contributions for you were made by the state);
  • Have been disabled and have regained your working ability;
  • Has taken care of a disabled child until he/she turned 18.

the granted unemployment benefit amounts to 60% of the double statutory social maintenance benefit (which is 78.64 EUR during the first months the unemployment benefit is paid (state social maintenance benefit 64.03 EUR x 2 x 60% = 76.84 EUR), after which the unemployment benefit gradually decreases. See details regarding benefit payout duration and amount of the benefit under Section “Benefit payout duration”).

How is the average contributions salary calculated?

Your average contributions salary is calculated on the basis of your contributions salary for the period of 12 months ending two months prior to the month in which you were granted the unemployed status.

For example, if you were granted the unemployed status on 04.01.2020, your average insurance contributions salary will be calculated for the 12 month period from 01.11.2018 to 31.10.2019.

! The calculation does not include the two months during which the person has had the lowest and the highest insurance contributions salary.

If during the 12 month period, for which the average insurance contributions salary is to be calculated, you have been on

  • A parental leave;
  • An unpaid leave granted in relation to the necessity to care for a child (applies to adoptive parents, legal guardians, foster-parents or other persons who are actually caring for and raising a child); or
  • A pregnancy or childbirth leave,

And the employer has not have to make these contributions during this period, the average insurance contributions salary will be calculated for the 12 months prior to this period, going back to the last contributions salary registered by the employer.

Thus, in cases where during the 12 month period, for which the average insurance contributions salary must be calculated, the person has taken a parental leave, an unpaid leave granted in relation to the necessity to care for a child, or a pregnancy and childbirth leave, the aforementioned number of days will be excluded from the calculation of the average insurance contributions salary.

The procedure for the calculation of the average contributions salary is set out in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 866, Procedures for the Calculation of the Average Wage Subject to Insurance Contributions for the Determination of the Amount of Unemployment Benefit and Procedures for the Granting, Calculation and Disbursement of Unemployment Benefit and Funeral Benefit (see calculation formula in Section II of this Regulation).

Procedure for granting, re-calculating and paying the benefit

 

Benefit payout duration

Starting from 1 January 2020, the benefit payout duration and the share (%) of unemployment benefit to be paid by months change.

The changes in the conditions apply to unemployed persons, who are granted the status of unemployed as of 1 January 2020.

Unemployed, who were granted this status up until 31 December 2019, will be granted, calculated and paid the unemployment benefit according to legal norms valid until 31 December 2019.

Unemployed persons, who were granted this status up until 31/12/2019 – benefit payout duration is 9 months, and the benefit is paid out as follows:

  • During the first three months – in the amount granted;
  • During the next three months – 75% of the benefit granted;
  • During the last three months – 50% of the benefit granted.

 

Unemployed persons, who were granted this status starting from 01/01/2020 – benefit payout duration is 8 months, and the benefit is paid out as follows:

  • During the first two months – in the amount granted;
  • During the third and fourth month – 75% of the benefit granted;
  • During the fifth and sixth month – 50% of the benefit granted;
  • During the seventh and eighth month – 45% of the benefit granted.

Examples:

Mr Smith was granted the status of unemployed on 27/12/2019, but he submitted the application for granting the unemployment benefit to the VSAA only on 03/01/2020.

The unemployment benefit to Mr Smith will be granted as of 03/01/2020, and the benefit will be paid out for 9 months (because the unemployment status was acquired until 31/12/2019):

  • During the first three months – in the amount granted;
  • During the next three months – 75% of the benefit granted;
  • During the last three months – 50% of the benefit granted.

***

Mrs Brown was granted the status of unemployed on 03/01/2020, and she submitted the application for granting the unemployment benefit to the VSAA on the same day.

The unemployment benefit to Mrs Brown will be granted as of 03/01/2020, and the benefit will be paid out for 8 months (because the unemployment status was acquired on 01/01/2020 or later):

  • During the first two months – in the amount granted;
  • During the third and fourth month – 75% of the benefit granted;
  • During the fifth and sixth month – 50% of the benefit granted;
  • During the seventh and eighth month – 45% of the benefit granted.

The procedure for granting and paying the benefit

The benefit shall be granted from the day when you have filed all the documents necessary to grant the benefit.

If you became unemployed after the termination of an employment relationship based on your own initiative or due to a violation, the unemployment benefit shall be granted from the day of filing the request, but not earlier than two months after receiving the status of the unemployed.

Time for decision

Decision on granting or rejecting an unemployment benefit is made by a unit of VSAA following the receipt of all information needed to assess the granting of a benefit from the State Employment Agency and State Revenue Service, but no later than within a month after the receipt of the application.

Receipt of benefit

The benefit is transferred to a bank account of a Latvian credit institution or an account within the postal billing system (pasta norēķinu sistēma, PNS).

If the unemployment benefit is granted according to an international treaty in social security, concluded between Latvia and another state, or according to Regulation provisions, and if the country of residence of that unemployed person is within an EU/EEA member state or a signatory state, then the benefit may be transferred to the account of a credit institution of the respective foreign country.

Can the unemployment benefit be waived?

If a person waives the unemployment benefit, payments of the unemployment benefit shall be terminated. The person’s right to receive the unemployment benefit shall be re-evaluated only after receiving a new status of the unemployed.

Important!

Payment of the unemployment benefit shall be suspended for the duration of the sickness benefit or maternity benefit.
One can not receive the parental benefit and unemployment benefit at the same time. Payment of the parental benefit shall be suspended for the duration of the unemployment benefit.

Receipt of for loss of capacity for work and survivor’s benefit shall be suspended for as long as the person receives the unemployment benefit.

Published date: [16.01.2020]